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  • Adeyemi v. Abayomi
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  • 2002-12-09
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Adeyemi v. Abayomi

MR. KAYODE ADEYEMI

MRS. FOLASHADE ADEYEMI

V

ALHAJA MUSINATU WURAOLA ABAYOMI

MRS. ESTHER KOBARI

MISS KIKELOMO OBIKOYA

MRS. MODUPE BAKARE

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE

NIGERIA POLICE FORCE

CHIEF MAGISTRATE AUGUSTINE AGBOOLA

HIGH COURT

( IKEJA DIVISION )

A.A. PHILLIPS, J

ID/2110/95

FRIDAY, 18TH OCTOBER, 2002

DAMAGES - Paternity disputes - Claim of damages for deprivation of custody of a child - Whether award of damages sufficient in replacement of deprivation of love and affection between parent and child

FAMILY LAW - Custody of a baby girl - Deprivation suffered by parents of denial of custody of their baby girl by a nurse who transferred the baby to an unknown third party - Claim of damages therefor - Whether award of damages sufficient to replace deprivation of love and affection between parent and child

FAMILY LAW - Paternity disputes - Claim of damages for deprivation of custody of a child - Whether award of damages sufficient in replacement of deprivation of love and affection between parent and child

FAMILY LAW - Paternity disputes - Involvement of police in such disputes -  Power of to call for scientific tests in paternity disputes - Evaluation of actions of police in the instant case

FAMILY LAW - Paternity disputes - Police officials collecting blood samples from claimants for purpose of DNA testing - Absence of claimants’ legal advisers and medical representatives at the time of collection of blood samples - Whether such absence of any consequential value on the final result of the D.N.A. testing

FAMILY LAW - Paternity disputes - Scientific tests to resolve - Absence of legislative provisions in guide of - Need for the legislative arm of government to promulgate laws to aid arbitrating or adjudicating bodies

FAMILY LAW - Paternity disputes - Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)  testing -  Scientific tests to resolve paternity disputes - Power of Nigeria Police to call for

NOTABLE PRONOUNCEMENT -  Unqualified nurse denying parents custody of their baby girl for several years - Judicial attitude thereto

Issues:

1.            Whether the procedure adopted by the 5th and 6th defendants in determining the paternity of the disputed baby in this case was the proper procedure.

2.            Whether from the oral and documentary evidence adduced in this case, the plaintiffs are entitled to all their claims in their amended statement of claim.

3.            Whether from the oral and documentary evidence adduced before the court, the 3rd defendant has shown that she is entitled to the claims in her counter-claim.

Facts:

The plaintiffs instituted this action at the Ikeja High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Judicial Division (coram Phillips, J.) claiming amongst other reliefs, the parentage of a baby girl which they claimed to have given birth to on the 17th of December, 1994 at the Oluwaseyifunmi Clinic, Ojota, Lagos State, owned and run by the 2nd defendant. The 2nd plaintiff registered for ante-natal treatments at the Clinic of the 4th defendant who later transferred her to the 1st defendant’s Clinic. On the 16th of December, 1994 , the 2nd plaintiff gave birth to the first of a set of twins, which baby died at delivery. The 2nd child was delivered on the 17th of December, 1994 . After delivery, the midwife (2nd defendant) claimed the child needed medical attention and on this pretext purportedly took the child to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos State. She never returned with the child. She claimed the baby died. She did not give the corpse of the two children to the plaintiffs.

Sometime in 1995, the plaintiffs watched the 1st defendant on the television celebrating the miraculous birth of a baby girl at 65 years. The plaintiffs got suspicious especially as the 1st defendant had been around the Oluwaseyifunmi Clinic at the time the 2nd plaintiff delivered her children. On further investigations, the plaintiffs concluded that the child was theirs and reported the matter to the police. The 1st and 2nd defendants were consequently arrested.  Serological tests were carried out on the two contesting mothers. The 3rd defendant joined the contest for the parentage of the baby on the 1st of June, 1995, claiming she had also given birth to a baby girl at the 2nd defendant’s clinic in January, 1995. D.N.A. tests were carried out on all contesting parents and the child in dispute by the Nigerian Police. Blood samples were collected from the parties in Nigeria and sent to the Cell Mark Diagonistics in Britain. The test revealed the 3rd defendant as the mother of the disputed child.

Dissatisfied, the plaintiff filed this suit claiming that the test carried out by the Police was not error-proof and not in comformity with laid down procedure for the conduct of DNA testing in Britain, and that the Nigeria Police possess no power to render a conclusive verdict on the parentage of the child.